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Discussion Starter #1
I have specific requirements for the Mazda3 I want:
sGrand Touring, manual transmission, no extra options, almond leather interior, color can't be black, white, or any of the silvers. My preference is Titanium Flash Mica, followed by that light blue, and then deep crystal blue. I don't see paying extra for red, and for the last 20 years I've driven red cars. Time for a change.

Anyway, I've been having REAL problems finding a car that meets these criteria anywhere near me (using Mazda's 250 mile radius inventory search and have only seen about 4 in the past 10 months)). and so far far NO dealers seem to be interested in checking whats on the boat coming to port or still sitting at port, looking at inventory outside of the 250 mile radius, or ordering a car to my specs. It just seems like the dealers around here want you to buy, but don't want to make that much effort.

So, I found a deep crystal blue one that matches my other criteria, but it is used. It looks like they are asking too much for it ($24k - only about $1500 less than buying one new, and when you include in the difference in loan rates, it comes out being even) the way they describe it on their website and from the features they list.

They do mention rain-sensing wipers, which I thought were only available as part of the tech package, but I don't see any of the other elements of the tech package listed. So is there a way to tell if the car has the tech package by looking? Like are there button-like sensors on the front bumper for the radar cruise control like there on some back bumpers of cars? Any indicator in the instrument panel? Any way to tell?
 

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Tech package as in you want to have radar cruise control, lane keep assist and collision warning stuff? You can tell if the car has that package if there are cameras/sensors mounted around the rear view mirror. Also, the front mazda emblem is not an actual emblem but more of a flat piece thingy.
 

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Look at the front windshield of the car. That's the real tech package. But with the I-eloop etc. they only come in autotragic. But truthfully, I've driven both, the automatic isn't all that bad. Could it be better, maybe, but I've driven far far worse.
 

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Try using auto trader and try going farther than 250. For sure their will be an extra button for lane departure on the bottom left.
If you want it u got to get it. Ya you would think the dealer's would put more effort into it for the money.
Noticed when you build a 2016 mazda 3 s-gt the option for the technology package is only for auto not manual. Not sure if this has been the norm since 2014. Maybe a special order for manual?
I have a 3 S-GT auto and no tech package.

gregersonke beat me to it. To add coming from a speed, that the auto is pertty nice. Getting used to the paddle shifters and no turbo.... I do love my newer 3. Really impressed with the improvements. Taking a break and letting the Wife enjoy it also. Probably loook into a newer speed if it pops up down the road. But the new 3 S-GT auto is great!
 

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I think there's kind of two or three versions of tech packages. I think the best bet is to call and see if they can tell you specifics or provide pictures of the dash, left and down from the steering wheel and the Applications screen on the infotainment system. I think most SGTs come with the convenience tech package, which includes the auto-dimming review mirror, blind spot warning, auto-wipers and auto-headlights. Then there are packages that include the radar-cruise control (as @lowincash mentioned will have a flat 3d-looking emblem on the front), lane departure warning, and parking sensors. There's also the i-eloop that's the regenerative braking system.
 

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Rain sensing wipers came as part of the sGT trim in '15 and '16. No tech package necessary. BTW , the tech package on the sGT is very different than the one on the i series.
 

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There may be other ways, but look for the special cruise control button the the steering wheel. Tech package comes with the radar cruise control and there's a special button for that (having to do with setting distance) on the lower right side of the steering wheel.
 

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I had the same problem last month because I wanted a 2015 model and they were hesitant to actual tell me if they could source the exact car with the options I wanted, they wanted to sell me something they had on the lot already. I talked to the sales manager and told him I wouldn't even waste my time driving to his dealership if his reps couldn't be bothered to check the inventory in the surrounding area.

Use Mazda's website and price out the car you want with the features you want, check for all the local dealer and Mazda incentives so you know what the price should be. I would then suggest you go in to the dealer and tell them exactly what you are looking for and 'if' they can source it you would be willing to sit down and go over the numbers (Half the battle for the sales guys is to get you to sit and listen to their pitch).

Good luck!
 

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I just got exactly the car I wanted (i Touring, PEP, manual transmission). I find it odd that a dealer near you is not willing to work with you to get you exactly the car that you want. Mine did a great job.
 

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I have the 2015 sGT with tech package in titanium mica flash. I had to special-order it, and had to wait over a month for it to arrive. You might have to search around for a dealer; I got mine at Hall Mazda in Virginia Beach. Dealers don't really want you to order cars, they want you to buy stuff off the lot, and they don't make much money selling brand-new cars so they don't put a lot of effort into it. They make more money selling you overpriced add-ons (like "paint protection") and doing service, and also selling used cars. You might very well have to do some traveling to find a dealer that'll get one for you.

There's several ways to tell if a car has the tech package:

1) look at the steering wheel. The tech package has radar cruise control, and this has extra buttons on the right side. Hanging off the bottom of the right spoke is two buttons, and the buttons on the spoke are for adjusting the speed and also the following distance. The regular car doesn't have those two extra buttons hanging off the spoke (they look just like the two buttons hanging off the left spoke for the phone).

2) look at the front emblem. The regular emblem is contoured (basically a chrome-plated piece of plastic in the shape of the Mazda logo). The tech package puts the radar array behind this, so it looks like the Mazda logo, but the front is flat, clear plastic, with no contour.

3) look at the rearview mirror from the outside. There's a bunch of sensors and cameras there (4 I think). This "pod" is larger than on the other models.

The steering wheel is the most foolproof and easy way to tell from photos, in case you're looking at dealer websites. The front logo is mostly impossible to tell from a small web photo.
 

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The sGT tech package adds like $2,700 or something like that and consists of Mazda Radar Cruise control, auto high beams, lane departure warning, i-Eloop, smart city brake support.
 

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When I was looking for an S GT, many of them had the tech package. I just didn't think that it was worth that amount of money and I really did not want the i-Eloop. Who wants a big capacitor sitting under the hood holding electricity?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looking at the pics from the dealer (it has steering wheel close-ups) it does not have the tech package. Thanks for the tips! In the end I didn't really want the tech package because it just costs too much for stuff I'd rarely use. Because this particular used one is $24k, which is only $1500-ish different from a brand new one, I was thinking maybe it does have the tech package and hence the price. Nope. That means I need to go in there, look at it and let them know that in the end they are pricing it the same as a brand new one, and I would be dumb to buy it from them at that price. I will also mention that it is a manual transmission, which is more difficult to sell, and it is the end of the year, and they still have to pay insurance on it sitting on their lot. I'll give them the price I want to pay as far as price of the car minus my trade-in and they can do their own math (lower the price by $2k and give me the trade-in I want, or don't lower the price and give me more for the trade-in, whatever. I'll give upwards of $500 on that, but any more and I'll just walk and tell them good luck while I go buy a new one for the same price (they don't have to know that there are no others with those options anywhere in the South, basically). If they bite, fine. If not, fine.

I have talked to several dealers in the area and asked them if I could order the car. They always came with excuses as to why I couldn't. "But they would keep a look out." Back in Sept. I was at one dealership, he checked inventory and there was nothing around in either a 2015 or 2016. I asked him if I could just order one to my specs. He hemmed and hawed and said well it wouldn't be ready for months, and then it would take 6-8 weeks to get it shipped, and there would surely be one matching my criteria in the area before, and he couldn't offer me the $1200 dealer discount on an ordered one, etc., etc., etc. Another dealership keeps calling and emailing me and asking if I have found a car yet. Every time (and it is the same person) they ask me "what were the colors and options you were looking for?" which tells me that either they never write it down, or they keep losing it and aren't looking. I keep looking within a 250 mile radius on the MazdaUSA.com site, and nothing. I even looked at a few zip codes (+250 mile radius) and nothing. :(

It's frustrating that they don't want to get my business and they'd rather risk me buying elsewhere or another car not from them than order the car.

Thanks again for the info everyone!
 

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Krampus, I live in Goldsboro NC. The Mazda dealer I do business with is Frema Motors. They ordered my 2014 sGT, same color as the one you want. They followed the car's progress as it was bring built. They also use the Dealer's web site to locate and pickup a car that people order. I used to drive for them and have gone as far as Ohio and Florida to pick up vehicles. Let me know if you need their help. I'll drop a dime and call them.
 

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The sGT manual is not available with the tech package at all so that part is easy. If you spec a manual sGT it comes exactly one way. All you get to pick is colors and accessories. You've confirmed this part on your own and through the help of others in this thread already so you're good to go there.

As far as getting what you want, it's a shame the dealer -- or any dealer close to you -- isn't willing to work with you. I know some parts of the US are scarce with Mazda dealers.

I ordered and received one of the first sGT manuals sold in the US (I posted all about it over a year ago, you can search). My dealer was insanely easy to work with and was willing to actually factory order the car as long as I was prepared to wait eight or so weeks to get it (got it faster, it's all in that back post). I live in eastern PA and can give you the dealer's name if interested (I'll even refer you to my person there; he's sold me 3 cars in a span of about 13 years -- real low key, etc. -- and when I replace my '94 Miata with a '17 or '18 model he'll sell me that too).

Some dealers will work hard to locate and ship for you or factory order. Some will blow you off. I guess it all depends on how badly they feel they need the business or -- more likely -- they're playing a game of chicken with you and are hoping you blink first and just take something they have out of inventory. A surprising number of people do simply cave in (which blows my mind on a product that one keeps for years and pays tens of thousands of dollars for, but that's me). Hold strong and get what you want. If you're spending this kind of money on something you want what'll make you happiest.
 

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I just didn't think that it was worth that amount of money and I really did not want the i-Eloop. Who wants a big capacitor sitting under the hood holding electricity?
What's wrong with that? It's no less safe than having a tank full of a highly combustible and flammable liquid in your vehicle. And it's not a lithium battery if that's what you're thinking. The i-Eloop actually works quite well, boosting mileage 1 or 2 mpg.

As for the value of the tech package, I guess it depends on what you're willing to pay and how much you value the features, but most people with it seem to like the radar cruise control the best. For highway trips, it really is a nice thing to have. I also like the auto high beam control; on rural roads, it's nice not having to flip the high beams every time a car approaches.
 

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wolstentech, It's not the safety of the device in an accident. I didn't want the i-Eloop because if I have to work on the car or get into the electrics, I didn't want to need a special device to discharge the system. I don't want to short out the electrical system because it "should" have been discharged or disconnected, but wasn't.
 

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Oddly enough I ran into the same problem up here in New England. I think I actually even created a thread on this like a month ago. I think I have like 47 Mazda Dealerships in a 250 radius. I figured, someone HAS to have this car (2016 Soul Red, Black interior, w/ Tech). As of the end of November, nope -- no one -- not even a 2015.

I remember when I was looking back in 2014 when these things just came out. I wasn't in a position to buy, but I sure did my research. It was not difficult to find Red/Black/Tech -- they were probably the one I came across most frequently. Now nothing. So anyhow, I shot out a canned email to about 10 dealerships and I got the same story you did, "There's not a single one in New England, but let me interest you in this other color option available." Ironically, the dealership only about 10 minutes away said, "there's not a single one in all of New England, but I'm placing an order for some cars on Monday. Stop by on Sunday and we'll get the exact specs you want." It was literally that easy -- I got VERY lucky.
 
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